109: How to Get Back on Track
If I could just show up and work with my clients, life would be golden. When it comes to working with clients in any capacity it lights me up, but the on-the-business work? Not so much.
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If I could just show up and work with my clients, life would be golden.
Working with clients in any capacity lights me up. But the on-the-business work? Not so much.
Coming out of a long launch season, I’ve found myself in a self-reflective period and when I sat down to record this episode I ended up going in a completely different direction than I had planned.
Most of us go into coaching because we love helping people achieve their greatest potential. We don't necessarily go into coaching because we want to be business owners or entrepreneurs. For most of us, those are skills that we develop along the way.
Six years into this journey, I'm still learning new ways to approach my work and my business. And part of that means giving myself the space to sort out how I'm feeling, what I'm thinking, and where I want to go next.
Today I’m sharing from a very vulnerable place about the lessons I learned from my recent launch and my approach to working through feelings of being stuck or unmotivated in your business.
I hope that you’ll find some benefits in today's show. Enjoy the episode!
- Feeling strong in my work in the business versus on the business
- What I learned from the huge launch I just wrapped
- Dealing with the post-launch blues
- My challenges with celebrating accomplishments
- Confessions about my inner troll
- The three M’s: meaning, mindset, and mindfulness
- Showing up for yourself in the present moment
- Getting in tune with all the aspects of mindset
- Meeting yourself in your own business with grace
- My challenge to you
- My Book | ACT On Your Business: Braving the storms of entrepreneurship and creating success through meaning, mindset, and mindfulness
- Coach with Clarity Podcast | Episode 49: Hitting a Plateau: How to Help Our Clients (and Ourselves) Get Unstuck
- Coach with Clarity Podcast | Episode 77: [The Three M’s] Mindfulness: It’s More than Just Meditation
- Coach with Clarity Podcast | Episode 78: [The Three M’s] Mindfulness: It’s More than Just Meditation
- Coach with Clarity Podcast | Episode 79: [The Three M’s] Mindfulness: It’s More than Just Meditation
- Coach with Clarity Free Quiz | Discover Your Coaching Style!
- Coach with Clarity Collective Waitlist
- Coach with Clarity Podcast Facebook Group
- Connect with Me on Instagram
- Email Me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now it’s time for you to show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity! Screenshot this episode and tag me on Instagram @coachwithclarity and let me know what you’re more excited to explore in future podcast episodes!
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Want to connect further? Follow me on Instagram and continue the discussion in the Coach with Clarity Facebook group.
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Well, hello, my friend. Welcome to the Coach with Clarity Podcast. My name is Lee Chaix McDonough and today I'm doing something a little different. I'm actually going off script,
I have a whole content plan that I have set up for the next three to six months and today I was supposed to talk to you about what to do when your client isn't making progress. And don't get me wrong. That's a very important topic, and it's one that I intend to come back to in the future. But as I sat down to prepare that particular episode, I realized that what I needed to hear and what I needed to work through is what happens when we feel like we as the coach have stopped making progress, and specifically what we can do to get back on track.
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So that's what we're going to talk about today, we are going to talk about how to get back on track, when we're feeling stuck, when we're feeling uncertain. And when we're feeling unmotivated in our business. I'm finding myself in a really interesting position. Because when it comes to working with my clients, when it comes to showing up for the members of the Coach with Clarity Collective, I'm all in, I'm really excited. I love the work that I get to do as a coach and as a mentor. And so whenever I see my clients' sessions, or my membership calls on my calendar, I get really excited. So I don't necessarily feel stuck working in my business. But where I feel stuck, is working on my business. I actually had the thought the other day that if I could just show up and work with my clients, life would be golden. And I suspect a lot of you feel the same way too. And I've said it before most of us go into coaching because we love coaching. We love helping people achieve their greatest potential. We don't go into coaching because we necessarily want to be business owners or entrepreneurs. For most of us, those are skills that we develop along the way, that was certainly the case for me. So it makes sense then that when I'm feeling stressed or tired, I start to second guess myself. And I start to wonder if I'm really doing everything right in my business. And of course, you and I both know that I'm not doing everything right in my business, because I'm human, I'm fallible. And I'm learning – even six years into this journey, I'm constantly learning new ways to approach my work and my business. So I'm not going to get everything right. And actually giving myself that little bit of permission feels good. It gives me a little bit of breathing space, a little bit of wiggle room to sort out how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking and where I want to go next. So I do find myself in a bit of a self reflective period. And that's not surprising. I just wrapped up a huge launch of the Coach with Clarity Membership. And this launch experience was really interesting for me because it unrolled over a long period of time. This was probably a 90 day launch period, maybe even a little longer than that. So I spent December and January doing all of the behind the scenes prep work, getting my structure and my systems in place, writing tons of emails, working on sales page copy, all of the things that we need to do as we gear up for a launch. And then I made the very intentional decision to treat this as a two phase launch. So initially, I opened the Coach with Clarity Collective only to people on my waitlist. It was an email launch, meaning I didn't have any sort of big event. I went straight to email and I emailed everyone on my waitlist about the reopening of the Collective, the new unlimited access model, and then I invited them to join. And this was a way for me to test out my messaging and my emails with a smaller audience so that I could see what worked, what landed, what didn't. And then I was able to tweak those emails in preparation for the full launch that I did in March. Many of you probably heard me talk about that on this very podcast. And this launch was a masterclass or a webinar style launch, where I had a free event, my masterclass is all about The One Tool You Need to Create a Sustainable, Thriving Coaching Practice. That was my big event. And at the conclusion of that free event, I invited people to join the Collective and then I followed up with that sales email sequence. So there was a lot that went into that whole process. I created an entire email sequence promoting the masterclass, I had to create the slides and the content for the masterclass plus do all of the tech stuff on the back end. Then I had to launch after the masterclass and promote the Collective and rework the emails and send them out and follow up with people and answer questions and conduct connection calls, all of the things you do when you're in a launch. So the waitlist launch was in February, the masterclass launch was in March. So I had essentially spent the last three to four months, really focused on the Coach with Clarity Collective launch. I am so honored that 13 people said yes, 13 people made the decision to join the Coach with Clarity Collective. And I could not be more excited about that. In fact, I have had the opportunity to connect with many of these 13 people through our new member welcome call, through a special Voxer group that was a bonus offer for people who joined early, all sorts of really powerful ways that I'm able to connect with these new members. And that has really delighted me. It's an example again, of how I'm really enjoying working in my business right now as the service provider, making those connections, serving my members. That's the one place where I feel really connected, and really strong as a coach. I suspect the reason I'm not feeling quite so strong as a business owner right now is because I'm exhausted. I've spent the last four months really singularly focused on this launch. And now that it's over, I'm experiencing a little bit of post launch blues. And I don't know if this happens to you, this is definitely a recurring theme in my life where I work very hard towards a specific goal, or I have a big event coming up that I'm really looking forward to. And I enjoy myself in the moment. But then once it's done, once the adrenaline surge has worn off, and once life returns to normal, that's when I start to feel a little down. I certainly feel physically tired and I just feel emotionally drained. And so when I look back at what the last four to five months have been like, for me, it makes total sense why I would be feeling some fatigue when it comes to working on my business. So I'm currently in a Business Mastermind program. And one of the benefits is that I have access to a mindset coach. And I had a call with her earlier this week and one of the questions she asked me was “So Lee, how did you celebrate after your launch wrapped up? What did you do to really acknowledge all that you've accomplished?” And I paused for a very long time, because I realized that I hadn't celebrated. And that's not surprising, actually, I don't typically take the time to celebrate my achievements or my accomplishments. Now I do express gratitude for them. Gratitude is something I'm very comfortable with. And it's very easy for me to express gratitude to the 13 new members of the Collective, as well as to the dozens of people who are already in the Collective, who are helping make it such an extraordinary community for everyone who participates. I am so grateful to all of my members. And I'm grateful that the process, the whole launch sequence worked pretty well. But gratitude is very different from celebration. And I suspect I have a hard time celebrating because it feels very, well self focused. It's much easier for me to shine the spotlight on other people to talk about the 13 incredible people who have joined the collective and to express my thanks, versus really celebrating everything I did to make it possible for them to join the collective; from creating a really powerful masterclass to crafting really strong emails, to following up with people. There was a lot of hard work that went into this launch. And although I know conceptually that it is not just appropriate but necessary to celebrate our successes, I still find it really hard to do. So when my coach asked me that question, it really kind of rocked me on my heels a bit. And she challenged me to think about “Well, what is celebration look like for you?” Now interestingly, my mind went straight to self care, and after a few seconds, I answered her and said “I think I need a spa day. I think I need some time to rest and rejuvenate and take care of my body and my mind and my spirit. And a spa day sounds really good for that.” And she laughed. And she agreed. But I also think I was looking at this from more of a self care perspective, because I am so tired right now, because this launch did take a lot out of me. And it also felt like a safe way to celebrate. A spa day is great, but it's private. It's a solo event, it's internal. And only I would know that I was taking a spa day because I was celebrating what I've accomplished in my business. When I think about being more public, in celebrating, that's when my inner troll shows up. My inner troll tells me that it's not appropriate for me to publicly celebrate myself and my accomplishments, my inner troll points to all of the things that I could have done better during the launch. It points to the things that didn't work more than the things that did. And my inner troll also directs me towards the goals that I set for myself at the start of this launch. At the start of my launch, I set good, better and best goals for enrollment. I knew what my good goal was for the number of new members I wanted to welcome into the Collective. I had also set a better goal and a best goal. Now the best goal was a blow it out of the water, shoot for the moon goal. And I knew that it was highly unlikely that I was going to hit my best goal. My better goal felt like a reasonable stretch, that it would really take some work to get there. But if everything went well, I could probably hit it. And then of course, my good goal was this is really what I need to hit in order for this to be a viable launch. So I'm not going to go into the exact numbers. But what I will say is that I exceeded my good goal, and didn't quite make it to my better goal. And rather than celebrating the fact that I hit my good goal, my inner troll focused right on the fact that I didn't make my better goal. And as a result, I didn't work hard enough, I didn't do enough. And I needed to do better next time. I want to pause right now and just let you know how anxious I feel even saying that out loud. There is a part of me that is thinking to myself how dangerous it is to focus exclusively on numbers, especially enrollment numbers, because it comes dangerously close to treating people as numbers, as statistics and not as people. And I certainly don't want any one of the 13 new members of the Collective to feel that way. Nor do I want any of my existing members or future members to feel that way. It's important to me that everyone who is a part of any of my programs, feels like I view them as a person, as someone who matters. And not just an arbitrary number that's getting me closer to my goals. So to set good, better, best goals around enrollment and to be public about them. And to talk about how my inner troll is telling me I didn't get enough feels transactional. And it makes me feel really uncomfortable. So this is definitely a vulnerability moment for me, even sharing this on the podcast. And I suspect I am going to experience what Brene Brown calls a “vulnerability hangover” after this goes public. And yet I also think it's important to speak honestly and transparently about these thoughts and these feelings that come up. Because I know I am not the only business owner who struggles with this. And maybe you do too. So if you do know that you're not alone in it. And that there is a way to balance the numbers side of business, knowing how many people you need to join a program or how many new clients you need to enroll every month. Those numbers are important. They help us make decisions in our business. And there's a way to balance that with the fact that behind every number is a human being, is a person that you are serving. So I try to remind myself of that, as I talk through this and as I set goals in my business, but I just want you to know I'm aware of that tension. It doesn't sit 100% well with me, but it is what it is. And it is certainly a message that my inner troll is sending me right now which is, “You didn't enroll enough people. You're not good enough, you need to do better next time.” And so when I paid attention to this message that my inner troll was sending me, what I realized was that I have created an environment in my own business for myself, where I am not allowed to celebrate my accomplishments if they are not exceptional. If I meet my goals, if I perform adequately, if I make it to my bare minimum, that's not enough, and that the only thing that deserves celebration is when I exceed even my own wildest expectations. And what an unfair position to put myself in, right? I would never do that for one of my own clients. In fact, the irony here is that with my clients, I am very quick to point out their wins and their successes, even when and especially when they don't see them themselves. I am constantly cheerleading and celebrating my own clients, because I want them to see how important each and every accomplishment is in their business, because each accomplishment builds on the next one. And so these little steps that we take these little victories we have are so vital to our, not just our businesses success, but our own growth and development as coaches and entrepreneurs. And yet, I was not extending myself that same grace, and I wasn't celebrating and cheerleading myself. Instead, I've essentially moved the goalposts on myself and made it damn near impossible to give myself permission to celebrate my accomplishments. And when I framed it through that perspective, all of a sudden, it makes total sense why I am feeling tired, why I'm having the post launch blues. And honestly, while I'm feeling a little burned out working on my business. Again, I'm not feeling burned out working in my business, that's where I feel connected, and where I feel lit up. But when it comes to my marketing efforts, when it comes to planning content, or even following my content plan for my podcast, that's when things feel heavy. So what do we do when we feel stuck? When things feel slow and sluggish in our businesses? Well, fortunately, I have recorded a podcast episode all about that. In fact, if you head to Episode 49, you will hear me share some ideas on how we can help our clients and ourselves get unstuck. And I also wanted to offer some thoughts through the lens of the three M’s. Now if you have been listening to the show for a while, or if you're familiar with my earlier work, you know that I wrote a book called ACT on Your Business: Braving the Storms of Entrepreneurship and Creating Success Through Meaning, Mindset, and Mindfulness. So meaning, mindset, mindfulness, those are the three M's. They are foundational pillars to everything I do from my coaching work, to my training, to my mentoring, and in my consulting work. So I thought to myself, alright, how can I utilize the three M's to help me work through this stuck point that I'm experiencing right now? So the great thing about the three M's is that you can start with any one of them. You can start with meaning if you choose or you can start with mindset. I decided to start with the third M, which is mindfulness. So for me, mindfulness is all about present moment awareness, of being fully engaged in the here and now from a place of objectivity, non-attachment and non-judgment. That's the big ask of mindfulness is that we approach ourselves from a fairly neutral perspective. And honestly, that is not what I've been doing to myself over the last few weeks. It's been anything but neutral, inside my mind. And what that's done is it's pulled me out of the present moment. And instead, I'm focusing on the past and on the future. I'm focusing on the past and that I'm thinking about all of the things I did or didn't do with the launch. I'm compiling all of the data, looking at all of the open rates and click through rates and unsubscribe rates and buy rates through all of my emails and putting them in beautiful spreadsheets. But it is entirely past oriented. And then I time travel into the future where I start thinking about the next launch of the Collective and what I need to do and what I need to do differently and how I can make it better. Now let me be clear with you, there's nothing wrong with examining the past and looking for opportunities for growth. I think it's very important that we look at data because data can teach us a lot about our audience and who we serve. It can show us trends. So it's not that I'm doing anything wrong. And it's also not wrong for me to start thinking about, “Yeah, what do I want July to look like the next time I open the Collective membership for enrollment?” These things can and should be a part of business. But my problem was that I was getting laser focused on past and future at the expense of the present. I wasn't showing up for myself in the present moment, I wasn't fully acknowledging all of the hard work that I had done to bring me to this place right now. I wasn't celebrating my successes. And I was feeling disconnected from myself and from the people around me. So really quite the opposite of being mindful. I also realized that I had fallen way off track with some of the ways that I connect with myself in the moment. I have always found that physical exercise and mindfulness meditation are two ways that I really connect with myself in the present moment. When I am on my Peloton bike and getting a good workout in I feel so connected to my body. I feel strong, I feel empowered. And it had been weeks if not months, since I've gotten on my Peloton bike. Again, I've gotten so singularly focused on this launch that everything else just fell away. And the Peloton was the first to go. The second thing to go was my own meditation practice. It had been weeks, since I'd really allowed myself to sit in silence or with a guided meditation, and really focus on my inner spiritual landscape. So two of the things that bring me closest to myself and allow me to practice mindfulness, I hadn't been engaging in them. So I was feeling pretty shaky with that third M, mindfulness. And that's certainly impacted the second M, which is mindset.
Now, I've talked about mindset in previous episodes of the show. In fact, Episode 79, is my deep dive into mindset. But you might know that when I talk about mindset, it's not just about the thoughts that we have, I'm really interested in how we relate to our internal experiences. So yes, that includes our thoughts. It also includes our emotions, our sensations, our memories, any private internal experience that we have, that someone else wouldn't necessarily know we're having unless we told them. To me, that is mindset work. And it's that relationship between our identity, how we view ourselves, and those inner experiences. So my inner troll was essentially my thinking gone haywire. And I know why it happens. Again, we've talked about this on the show, too, that our minds really are trying to keep us safe. But sometimes they go into overdrive, and they become that overactive safety monitor, who bombards us with all sorts of messages. The intent is to keep us safe. But in my case, it means keeping me small, keeping me from sharing my truth, from being visible, and putting myself out there in the service of helping others. My inner troll really did not want me to record this podcast episode today. Because as I mentioned before, there's a lot in here that makes me feel vulnerable. It makes me feel exposed, it opens me up to criticism, people may disagree with me, people may not like what I have to say or think I'm a terrible person. Am I willing to hold that thought, to see it from an objective perspective as “Ah, this is my mind trying to keep me safe,” and view that as a data point, but not the data point when it comes to making a decision about whether I want to put myself out there. But once I focused on the third M, mindfulness, and I connected with the present moment, and approached my inner landscape from a place of curiosity, that allowed me to decide how much I wanted my inner troll to be in charge. And that then connects to the first M which is meaning. For me, meaning is all about knowing what your values are. And not just knowing that but then living them out. What does it look like to take action in your life that is consistent with your personal and professional values? Now every so often, maybe once a year around annual planning time, I take a look at my values and I see what if anything needs to be refined or readdressed. And I gave my values a cursory look when I was doing my annual planning in December. And I felt like they were still accurate, I still very much lead from a place of service, connection, presence and love. And yet, I also get the sense that there's more work for me to do around these values, specifically with articulating what they are and why they mean so much to me. And I think because I have been feeling a little fuzzy around them, that has also contributed to why I feel a little unmoored and uncertain in the business side of my work. So for me, it was really helpful to go back to my roots to go back to the three M’s, meaning, mindset, and mindfulness, and to do a brief assessment on how I was doing in each one of those arenas. And the truth is, in some ways, I'm doing okay, and in some ways, there's some work to do. So that's what I will be focusing on for the next few months. You know, I just wrapped up this big visible launch and I had already planned on the second quarter of 2022, being a little more internal. There are some administrative and structural pieces to my programs that I plan to refine in the second quarter. And I think this is also time for me to go back to my basics and to get really clear on what matters most to me, what my values are, and how I want them to show up in my business. And I think somewhere in there has to be an explicit statement around what it looks like to meet yourself in your own business with grace, because I'm not sure I have really done that well. And even though it is something that I advocate for, for my clients, and I encourage them to do, I think it's time that I start listening to myself and taking a dose of my own medicine. So even though I have a rough idea of what it is I want to accomplish in quarter two, and I know what my deliverables are, so to speak, I think it's time for me to set some more qualitative goals. Because my quantitative goals for the second quarter, they're pretty clear, I know the things that need to get done, and I know how to do them. But maybe it's time for me to think about how I want to feel as I am doing this work, and how my process reflects my values. So I'm going to be sitting with that for the second quarter. And I have a sense that it's going to lead to some big insights, and to some little aha moments along the way. And it's also going to help me break through this stuck point that I'm currently at in my business. So it will be interesting to see how things shake out over the next few months. And rest assured I'll keep you updated. But I want to challenge you too, that when you hit stuck points in your business, maybe that's an invitation to view things from a different perspective. And so if you have been quantitatively focused and looking at the numbers and the data like I have, maybe then it's time to come at it from the other end. Maybe it's time to take a qualitative approach that focuses on the feelings, the experiences, and the values that support our work. And with that, I think it's time for this week's Clarity in Action moment.
For this week's Clarity in Action moment, I invite you to allow the three M's to be your guide as well. So even if you are not in a bit of a stuck place like I am, even if you're feeling like things are going pretty smoothly in your business, that actually may be an even better time for you to pause and take stock of where you're at. So I would encourage you to look at the three M's meaning, mindset, and mindfulness and do a mini self evaluation as to how each M is showing up in your business and your life. So for meaning the first M, how clear are you on your personal and professional values? How are those values showing up in the work that you're doing? And when you make decisions? Are they consistent? Are they aligned with your values? So that's the meaning M. The mindset M, well, that's how we relate to our internal landscape, those thoughts, emotions, memories, sensations, all of the things that happen inside us. How are you connecting with your thoughts and with your feelings? When a thought comes up are you immediately buying into it? Or are you creating space between what the thought is saying and what you know to be true? When it comes to your emotions, are you allowing yourself to feel your feels? Even the uncomfortable, unwanted ones? Or are you numbing out? Are you avoiding? Are you running away? So just kind of checking in to see how you are relating to your own internal landscape can be a really powerful experience. And one way that we can do that is through the third M of mindfulness. So how are you engaging in the present moment? Are you approaching yourself and your work from a place of non attachment and non judgment? Are you extending yourself the grace and compassion that you would so readily give your clients. So, I hope you find these three M's to be a helpful framework to use in your own processing and in your own self evaluation.
If you'd like some more information about the three M's, well, I've got a few options for you. First and foremost, if you haven't already checked out my book, I definitely recommend picking up a copy. Not only does it go even deeper into the three M's, but it also provides you with some activities that you can use as part of your self reflection process. So if you head to coachwithclarity.com/getthebook that will redirect you to the Amazon web page where you can get your copy in paperback or Kindle. And if you already have the book, it would mean so much to me, if you would leave a quick review on Amazon, those reviews really are helpful, and they help get the book in front of people who it can serve and who need to hear the message behind the three M's. So the book is one resource for you, and I've also devoted several podcast episodes to the three M's. In fact, if you head back into the archives, and you look for episodes 77, 78, and 79, you'll see that I've walked through mindfulness, meaning and mindset right there for you, so you can check out those past episodes as well. Then come find me over on Instagram, I’m @CoachWithClarity, and I would love to hear more about how the three M's are supporting you in your day to day process, in your business, in your relationships and in your life. You can leave me a comment on the episode post or send me a DM. I would love to talk more about the three M's and how they are serving you.
Well, that's it my friend. This was not the episode I expected to record when I showed up to my office this morning. And yet, I think this was exactly the episode I needed to create. Certainly for myself and hopefully for you too. I really hope that you have found some benefit in today's show. I will be back in your feet next week with another new episode so make sure you are already subscribed to or following the Coach with Clarity Podcast. And of course, if you know another coach who might get a lot out of the show, it would mean the world to me if you would share the Coach with Clarity Podcast with them. I am so grateful for your help in spreading the word about the show and helping to build a community of innovative, intuitive, compassionate coaches who are willing to do the work not just with their clients but with themselves. Alright my friend, have a wonderful week and until next time, my name is Lee Chaix McDonough reminding you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity.